65 percent of healthcare organizations have documented mobile strategy

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The rise of technology in healthcare is causing many organizations to implement a mobile strategy.

This finding comes from part one of a two-part Spok report. Titled “The Evolution of Mobile Strategies in Healthcare,” part one highlights a number of key points in Spok’s annual survey. The survey results include responses from more than 300 U.S. healthcare professionals, which were gathered in February 2017. Thirty-five percent of respondents held various hospital roles such as quality directors, risk managers, infection prevention specialists and mobility engineers. Another 22 percent of respondents were physicians, 13 percent were nurses, 10 percent were IT staff members and 7 percent were executive leaders.

All the respondents answered questions about their organization’s mobile strategy — though their responses regarding the definition of “mobile strategy” varied across the board. For simplicity’s sake, Spok defined a mobile strategy as something that “brings together elements of security, technology and communications in a collective plan to improve staff productivity and enhance patient care.”

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The survey results show 65 percent of the organizations have a documented mobile strategy in place. This number has been steadily increasing through the years. In Spok’s similar 2014 survey, only 44 percent of organizations had a mobile strategy. In its 2012 survey, even fewer organizations (34 percent) had a mobile strategy.

Of the 65 percent that currently possess a mobile strategy, 21 percent have had it for less than one year. Forty percent have had a documented mobile strategy for between one and three years, and 14 percent have had it for between three and five years. The remaining 25 percent of respondents said their organization has had a mobile strategy for more than five years.

Among the organizations that have had a mobile strategy in place for more than a year, many have updated their strategy since its initial creation. According to respondents, the update stemmed from reasons such as the changing needs of end users, the availability of new mobile devices, new capabilities from their EHR vendor and alterations to strategy goals. Twenty-three percent of respondents said they were unsure of any updates to the strategy, and 7 percent said their organization has not updated its strategy.

But the implementation of a mobile strategy isn’t the only important factor.

Are the implemented strategies being reviewed and assessed? Not really. Only 32 percent of respondents said their organization has a formal review process for evaluating the success of projects such as mobile enablement. The remaining 68 percent said their organization does not have a formal review process.

While the number of organizations with a documented mobile strategy has been increasing since 2012, organizations should take a closer look at how to evaluate and improve their mobile strategies after implementation.

Photo: Hero Images, Getty Images

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